MC50 featuring BILL GOULD 2019 UK tour with Alice Cooper

Bill Gould spent a week in the UK with legendary rocker Wayne Kramer and MC50 in October supporting creepy goth king Alice Cooper. We were in the crowd at Leeds Arena and got to hang out with Bill and Kim Thayil drinking was awesome. Here is a round up of reviews, photos and videos from the tour.

Manchester Arena | October 4th 

Down The Front Media

Dave D Photos

Aberdeen Event Complex | October 5th 

PatchChord News

MC50 (formerly MC5) had the dubious honour of opening the new venue and they did so drawing some spirited applause from the crowd. Being a seated arena venue, and brand new, “the rules of engagement” had not yet been realised. The crowd were mainly seated with only a few dozen standing at the barrier. As I found out later, the first two rows are granted “access” to the barrier to improve their view. It didn’t take long for Wayne Kramer to shout out those iconic words “Kick Out The Jam’s Mutherfuckers” as the band launched into their earliest hit. MC50’s backdrop signified the 50yrs of MC5’s music, so MC50 was a clever way of stating that milestone. MC50 is like a rock supergroup as it’s member have played for other famous American bands, namely Kim Thayil (Guitarist ex-Soundgarden), Billy Gould (Bass – Faith No More), Brendan Canty (Drums – Fugazi) and Marcus Durant (Vocal – Zen Guerrilla). It was a solid performance and the final song “Looking at You” saw the band finish their set to a larger crowd than they started playing to.

Raymond Thompson Photography

Leeds First Direct Arena | October 7th 

Metal Express Radio

Detroit 1969 was certainly quite some time for music. While Motown was riding high in the charts and ruling the airwaves something altogether more sinister was bubbling under the surface with Alice Cooper`s debut album Pretties For You lighting the touch paper for a spectacular shock Rocking career and MC5 with their anarcho-subversive Rock n Roll assault bringing them to the attention of the F.B.I. Between them they shook the establishment to its very core. 
50 years on and it makes absolute sense for both artists to share the same bill on a UK arena tour that also included Punk veterans The Stranglers.With brother Wayne Kramer from the original MC5 line-up celebrating 50 years of the band as MC50 and a stellar cast of guest musicians including Kim Thayil from Soundgarden, Billy Gould of Faith No More, Fugazi's Brendan Canty and Zen Guerrilla’s wild cat front man Marcus Durant making for one potent brew.For an all too brief opening set, Kramer belied his 71 years as he pummelled his way through Ramblin' Rose and an absolute gut busting Kick Out The Jams, sounding every bit as subversive today as it did back in the day.Thayil's cool demeanour contrasted sharply with Kramer`s windmill power chords and Durant`s venom filled vocals while Gould and Canty held it all together as Motor City Is Burning did just that. This is what Rock n Roll is all about, anger, rebellion and pure, raw energy all rolled into one.  MC50 absolutely smashed it out of the park.

Neil Vary Photography

Brighton Centre | October 8th
First on are MC50, a supergroup iteration of Sixties Detroit countercultural rockers MC5, consisting of original MC5 guitar warrior Wayne Kramer, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Faith No More bassist Billy Gould, Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, and fronted by San Francisco singer Marcus Durant who, with his wild curly hair, shades and attitude, is a good stand-in for MC5’s late singer Rob Tyner.
MC50 exude raging rock’n’roll energy, taking the blues and zapping then with ire and distortion, led by the lean, wiry figure of Kramer, throwing his trademark stars’n’stripes guitar about, even apparently mating furiously with its rear sockets at one point. 24 carat proto-punk classic “Kick Out the Jams” is in there, of course, sounding ballistic, but their snappy 40 minute set also includes peaches such as “Sister Anne”, a pummelling “Call Me Animal” and closes with a roaring version of “Looking at You” which is dedicated to getting the US president “out of the White House and into the big house”. Although the vocals are too low in the mix, MC50 give an electric performance. It’s an incongruous shot in the arm at seven pm, shortly after the venue has opened.
Opening the evening was The MC50. Guitarist Wayne Kramer was born in Detroit in 1948 (the same as Alice Cooper) but showed no signs of his age as his punk rock supergroup blasted through a set of 60s garage classics. Those arriving early were rewarded with the iconic ‘Kick Out The Jams’ and ‘Looking At You’ delivered with relish and gusto by vocal powerhouse Marcus Durant, looking very much like the offspring from a Sideshow Bob and Joey Ramone drug-fuelled one-night-stand. His performance was a perfect substitute for the late Rob Tyner and an amazing start to the night.

Brighton and Hove News
The evening was kicked off at 6:56pm when the MC50 took to the large stage in order to perform a 46 minute nine song set of MC5 (Motor City 5 – a Detroit reference) numbers. The quintet are headed by the original MC5 guitarist frontman Wayne Kramer and is his celebration of 50 years of the MC5’s ‘Kick Out The Jams’, album as well as other material from that time.

Kramer has assembled a new line-up featuring the Joey Ramone-esque 6ft 7” vocalist Marcus Durant (formerly of Zen Guerrilla), Faith No More’s bassist Billy Gould, Soundgarden’s guitarist, Kim Thayil, and Fugazi’s drummer Brendan Canty.

The MC5 (who formed in 1964) and Alice Cooper have history. Alice was a Detroit native and returned there in 1970 to make his name in the city while The MC5, The Stooges and Bob Seger, among others, were tearing up the city. Harder, faster, stronger and darker than the hippies on the west coast, they changed music forever.

Tonight, the MC50’s raw heavy R’n’B fuzzy rock certainly got the packed crowd in the right frame of mind. It was great to finally see ‘Kick Out The Jams’ live, especially the intro which has been much sampled down the years by The KLF, Scooter and the likes. ‘I Can Only Give You Everything’ I particularly enjoyed because of its retro mid-60’s guitarwork sound (a tad Rolling Stones me thinks), but I reckon their finale ‘Looking At You’ was the best, as I have spent decades listening to The Damned’s version.

London The O2 | October 10th 2019


Opening the show were American protopunk band MC50, celebrating the 50th anniversary of their debut album Kick Out the Jams. The line-up included original MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, plus Kim Thayil and Matt Cameron of Soundgarden, Brendan Canty of Fugazi, Marcus Durant and Don Was, together with Faith No More bassist Billy Gould. The band opened their set with “Ramblin’ Rose” and put on an energetic performance which included some of their biggest hits such as the titular “Kick Out The Jams”.

Katie Frost Photography

Birmingham Resorts World Arena | October 11th
The classic “testify” opening words lead into the glorious “Ramblin’ Rose” and we are off and running. No sooner had the senses returned than we were thrust headlong into the sublime “Kick Out The Jams” with a ferociously tight and menacingly evangelical sound.  Following that was just 30 minutes of pure rock pleasure.  “Motor City is Burning”, “Sister Anne” and “Tonight” merely confirmed that live rock music does not get any finer.
“Looking At You” closes out the set with barbed comments aimed at world leaders, particularly their homeland commander-in-chief Donald Trump, for their collective failures.  Fair point, well made, as the UK knows only too well.  Those who managed to get down to the arena early were, in Wayne Kramer’s own words the “clever ones”.  You will get no dispute from me.  All killer zero filler.

Louder Than War

First up are MC50, a supergroup, continuing the music of countercultural rockers MC5. The band are made up of original MC5 guitarist Wayne Kramer, Soundgarden guitarist Kim Thayil, Faith No More bassist Billy Gould, Fugazi drummer Brendan Canty, and fronted by San Francisco singer Marcus Durant. For rock and roll music fans, this really is the line-up of dreams and a perfect continuation of what Rob Tyner and other MC5 members started back in the 60s.

MC5 give an electric performance, presenting us with raging rock and roll energy through the band’s trademark songs such as ‘Kick Out the Jams’ and ‘Sister Anne’. Their last song, “Look at You”, they dedicate to the US present, telling the crowd about their distaste on what is going on politically.


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